A 76-year-old woman who hadn’t washed for 13 years, and lived in a flat with ‘faeces everywhere’ has had her life transformed by her kind neighbour who spent 60 hours cleaning.
Lucy Ashen had been living next door to the pensioner for 21 years but only recently discovered the state of her home.
After the woman – who wants to stay anonymous – got locked out, Lucy accidentally found the mess.
As she pulled the lady’s bedroom window open, she was shocked at what she saw and decided to take matters into her own hands – taking almost a fortnight cleaning.
Lucy said: “What I found was horrific – totally horrific. I was speechless.
“There were faeces everywhere. There was lots of furniture everywhere and cushions upside down.”
The mum-of-three spent almost a fortnight cleaning, binning rotting furniture and cleaning while her 14-year-old daughter kept the lady company.
“I gutted the entire place. I left her with a bed and a toilet.”
They also gave the woman her first bath in 13 years.
“She’s not very mobile so I helped her. I gave her a bath and cleaned her. My daughter brushed her hair.”
Lucy also set up a Facebook page called My Lady and Me to appeal for help.
The response she got was incredible as strangers from all over the world reached out, and Lucy received fridges, sofas and clothes for her neighbour.
She said: “It was shared and shared. It went far beyond my friends and family.
“Even people from Thailand and America got in contact.
“I think it really touched a nerve with people. This could be your mum. This could be you. It could be me in a few years.
“She’s lived right under all our noses.”
The Facebook Page has racked up a huge 50,000 followers and a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the lady to go on holiday – this has raised £1,000.
She said: “I think she appreciates it. She’s been singing songs with my daughter Ruby. She truly has been saved from a lonely and degrading life.
“She has come to life and been reminiscing about her childhood and her past and talking about places she used to visit.”
Lucy hopes this will raise awareness of the dangers of elderly people becoming isolated.
“When I first saw the flat I was angry. This lady was defenceless and helpless.”
“She had nobody and didn’t have the mental capabilities to ask for help.
“The good thing about this is that it’s bigger than her or me or anything. It raises awareness of mental health and elderly isolation.”
What a lovely, heartwarming story.